This winter, the Sunshine Coast is anticipating the arrival of record numbers of whales into its waters. Between May and November, more than 20,000 Humpback Whales are expected to pass our shores, looking to make Queensland’s warm waters their temporary mating and birthing ground.
Whilst the Humpback whales are by far the most frequently sighted species, if you search hard enough, you may just be lucky enough to spot one of these other fascinating beasts!
Orcas prey on humpback whales, and are happy to travel long distances to areas where their prey is most abundant. With the large numbers of humpback whales visiting the Sunshine Coast’s waters, it’s only natural that orcas too would be attracted to the area. So look beyond the humpbacks, and you may spot a pod of orcas lurking nearby!
DWARF MINKE WHALES
Dwarf minke whales migrate along Australia’s East Coast annually, before gathering at Northern Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef for a few months over winter. Smaller than the humpback, they are distinguished by their unique colourings, particularly its white pectoral flippers with black edging.
These whales will be passing through the Sunshine Coast between June and August, so you may get lucky and spot one on your whale watching tour!
SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE
The rarest of the four, the Southern Right Whale is currently considered endangered. However the good news is, their population is on the rise, and so too are sightings! They follow a similar migration pattern of the humpback and dwarf minke, visiting the Sunshine Coast’s warm waters over the winter months for mating and giving birth.
These playful and inquisitive animals have been known to swim right up to boats to check out what’s going on. They also like to put on a show with mum and baby performing acrobatics for amazed whale watchers!
Keep your eyes peeled whilst your out on your whale watching adventure, and you may just be lucky enough to spot all four!